Into the Pride (Nuuba Pride Shifters #1) by Michelle Monkou (5 page)

“Excuse me? Get
it
back? There’s nothing to get back. Nothing is left. I know you’re delusional about your temple, but you can’t revive what’s gone.” He couldn’t trust her with what he knew of King Frazeur’s hopeful legacy.

“Could we take a look at the map?”

He laid the map on the ground and unrolled it, pinning it down with small rocks. They stood close, her body brushed against his. One slight brush of her feminine softness and desire flared. Hastily, he reached for his water bottle and took a long drink. His mouth and throat had to quench its thirst with water, instead of with her. Slowly, he leaned away to allow free space between them. It was a struggle to refocus on the city map.

“We’ve been here and here.” He pointed to the top left square. The place where he knew Xavier had escaped after his treachery. “We did find an opening on the north side that might be out next spot to explore.”

“Let’s go.” She walked off, taking the light from the lamp with her.

“We haven’t checked it out for safety.” David called after her. He hurriedly rolled up the map and cursed.

“Would it be up ahead?” She called over her shoulder.

“Hold on.” He reached her. “What’s the hurry?”

Instead of answering, she pushed past him and continued walking down the path. Sometimes, they had to turn sideways to get through the tight spaces.

“Shit.” He felt like a clumsy, oversized rhino plunging after her as she disappeared around a corner. She was much faster than he expected. His height didn’t help as he had to double over in some places. To get through one particular spot, he literally hurled away debris so that his shoulder could fit.

“If you don’t stop this minute, I’m going to shake the life out of you—when I catch you.” Since his recovery, his body had only undergone a battery of human tests to measure his strength, reflexes, and stamina. No opportunity had emerged for a test run of his hybrid form, much less in a state of full shift, if that ever happened. His beast quivered, surging forward and retreating, ready for such a test run.

A chuckle was her only response as she disappeared around another corner.

“Stop!” At this rate, he had no idea where he was.

“You could at least say please, and stop issuing commands.”

“Look. You’re going to have to take my directions or I’m going to haul you out of here.”

“Really? You’ll need armed guards to extract me from here.” She stepped into his space. Eyes blazing with her cockiness. Her lips moist from the recent sweep of her tongue. Up close, her sharp nose and wide cheeks begged for a kiss or two.

Instant intoxication swept over him. He’d happily fail the sobriety test for the euphoric dizziness that definitely impaired his thinking and his muscle coordination. Her scent charmed his senses with delicious anticipation for the real thing. He licked his lips, almost savoring the remnants of the delightful elixir of her sweet juices.

“Are you always this obstinate?” He sounded out of breath, even to himself, but it wasn’t from the rapid pace of their trek.

“Only when I’m told that I can’t do something.”

“I bet that you got kicked out of your temple,” he teased.

“A couple times.”

“And they let you back in? They must have been desperate to keep you.”

Starr didn’t respond. She slowed her march, finally coming to a halt.

“Hey, I was only joking.” Maybe he’d pushed the sarcasm too far.

“I know you’re joking.” She chewed on the corner of her mouth. Her gaze averted. “I haven’t been able to find any of my sisters. I don’t know if they moved on to other temples or settled down and made lives elsewhere. Once I’m done here, I want to find my sisters. I don’t want them to feel alone and adrift…like I did.”

“What happened to you?” David wanted to hear her story.

“I woke up in a hospital after the battle. Didn’t take long to realize I was homeless.” She looked up at him with a sad smile. “I lived on charity, took odd jobs as a governess or a teacher’s helper. I even thought of joining a convent. Everywhere I went, inserting myself into other places and lives, didn’t suit me. It was the whole square-peg-in-a-round-hole scenario. With the help of a dear lady, who is like my grandma, I realized that my happiness is linked to finding the temple. Nothing else.”

“I see.” But, no, he didn’t see. The temple had its significance, but it couldn’t swallow her back into its domain. He wanted her to stick around for a while. “If you’ve waited all this time, what’s the rush?” David knew why
he
had to race against the upcoming days. She didn’t have such an urgent task, despite her
life or death
claim.

“You wouldn’t understand.”

He chose not to argue. Instead, he did a quick study of the map and then refolded it. “I think you are a Type A personality, do everything now or else.”

“Have you ever been hit with a helmet?”

“Have you ever been kissed by a bodyguard?” His chest rose and fell, waiting for an answer.

“And whose body are you guarding these days?” Her eyes glittered under the light as if electrified by a hidden source. Her lips parted and she played with the corner of her mouth, again. She shifted back and forth, as if to run … or to stay.

David didn’t wait a second longer to rationalize. He chucked off her helmet. When it hit the floor, the lamp splashed a diagonal slash of light along Starr’s body, showcasing the swell of her breasts.

He dropped his helmet next to hers. The beam lit Starr from her waist down to the sweet spot—the apex at her thighs—that he desired for his sanity’s sake.

“I’ll guard your body, if you let me. Once a bodyguard, always a bodyguard.” He leaned in near her mouth and hovered, feeling his warmth bounce off her skin. Tiny moans escaped her lips. Yet, he waited, closing his eyes to savor everything about her essence. “Who are you, Starr?” His voice sounded raspy. He moved his mouth and kissed his way to her ear, and whispered, “I don’t believe in coincidences.” Using the tip of his tongue, he traced her lobe.

She inhaled, sharp and quick as her body quivered against his.

Something essential and wild rose, pushing forward to be free. His lion spirit exploded to intertwine and blend with his human side.

Among the ruins, with her, he felt power return—uninhibited and raw.

Her body arched into his. Her breasts pressed against his chest.

“David,” she moaned. Her fingers gripped his hair. She rubbed her cheek against his face. “I’m a priestess. My calling is to serve and die for the queen’s wishes. I’m not a coincidence in your life.”

“I don’t know what you are … in my … life.” The statement hung in the air.

She cupped his face. “Soon it will all be clear. I promise.”

She gazed at him with troubled eyes, lowered her head and took a deep breath.

For several long moments, he thought she would turn him down.

Then she raised her head and her smile said it all. “Now kiss me,” she said, “before I lose my fucking mind.”

 

Chapter Five

 

David touched a teasing kiss on the corner of her mouth.

A cozy nest enveloped them under the softened shadows. Their private cocoon embraced all of his body’s wishes and his heart’s desires.

The shadowy cover of the dark surroundings did a good job to hide the bulk-up of his muscles. The inner beast gifted him with heightened senses, power, and endurance. It retreated to its deep cavern that meshed with his soul. Time for him to man up, something he had no problem delivering on.

With his body stretching the limits of his clothes, all parts of him ached to be free. His biceps bulged to match the expansion of his chest, thighs, even his neck. The length of his shaft pressed against his pants. He groaned.

“Take my hand,” she whispered. “Let me touch you.”

He took Starr’s hand and slid it up and between his thighs. His eyes squeezed shut. Fire shot through him like an electric shock. She pressed her willing fingers to cup his arousal. The small grin threw him over the edge, head first.

David kissed her again, deliberately aiming for the bow of her bottom lip. Soft and sweet, he devoured her. Without detaching his mouth from hers, he unbuttoned her blouse. Breathing got in the way when he had to come up for air. His eyes never left her face. And her stroking hand never left his cock. She unzipped him, freeing his eager penis that answered her magic touch—growing longer and thicker—until erect, twitching for more than a touch.

Her blouse displayed a hint of what lay behind her bra. Her skin glistened under the warmness of the temperature. He dropped a tender kiss on her chest, right below her chin. His gaze lingered on her body, watching her heart increase its pump against her skin. He brushed his fingers over her flat stomach. The shiver of her body pleased him.

He rested his hand over her heart. “Keep your eyes on mine.”

Her heart thumped so wildly, he was afraid she’d have a heart attack. His fingers continued its play with her abdomen. It trailed the lean ripples of her muscles. Every part of her he wanted to remember for when he returned home and lay in his bed battling insomnia.

Her breath fluttered with a sexy sigh. Her moans grew deeper, vibrating from well below the abdomen.

Her black-laced bra surprised him. In a good, bad ass sort of way. With her conservative attire, he’d expected no-nonsense underwear. That’s what he got for assuming. Her clothing choice earned another kiss on her breast. This time, he swirled his tongue over her soft flesh. Now he couldn’t help but wonder about her panties. Eventually, he’d get there.

The front catch of her bra unfastened easily under his touch. Her breasts popped free with a deliciously sensual bounce. The creamy brown mounds were crested with a quarter-sized dollop of milk chocolate and tight, aroused nipples. His mouth ached for a taste of the treat.

His thumb grazed a sensitive, taut nub. Her body contracted. He heard the air sucked in between her teeth before a heady giggle escaped.

His balls tightened. Hell, all of him was wound like a coil, every nerve fiber humming with anticipation. No matter what happened, he would savor and enjoy every precious second with this beautiful woman. There was no rationale for why he was falling for this mysterious lady. Right now, he wouldn’t bother to figure out the reason. He took a deep breath and let go to freefall with her into a moment filled with passion and no regrets.

He groaned once more. She gave as good as she got. Her hand responded with a hard squeeze around his cock every time his thumb slid across her flesh. She played rough and he savored her tight clenches of his balls.

The more he tasted her, the more he wanted. His mouth ravaged her breast, licking and sucking each mound, her tight nipples saved for last.

He covered her hand with his and showed her how to pump his engorged shaft. The way she stared at his cock, the blush of her smile, her fingers claiming what was clearly hers, it all melded into a heady pleasurable torture.

Without warning, her hands left his cock to roam through his hair and he almost cried for the loss around his sensitive flesh. To punish her, he beat each nipple with his tongue, flicking their tips before sucking and pulling them hard.

Her soft cry echoed.

“I want you to undress.” He could barely talk.

Shirt and bra sailed through the air. She looked at him, waiting. Her shyness took over as her arms crossed over her chest. David shook his head. Gently, he removed one hand, kissing the tips of her fingers, before removing the other hand.

“You’re beautiful. Don’t hide your body.”

“Well, it’s not as if I’m used to this.” Her words tumbled out in half-whispers, half-giggles.

“You are a virgin?” He only asked to make sure that he didn’t scare or push her.

She shook her head slowly. “Once.” She bit her lip. Her eyes didn’t meet his.

He didn’t have to see her expression to hear torture behind the confession. “It sucks that you didn’t enjoy your first and only time. Sex is beautiful. It’s more than the need for air, food, or shelter. Sex is in our blood, giving life meaning and pleasure. There is no place for shame.” He gently tilted her chin. “Today, we’ll fuck. Tomorrow … we’ll fuck some more. You’ll see. There will be nothing to regret.” He waited for her response.

She nodded, her wide smile in place.

Reassured that she was willing, he kissed her, not holding back on the intensity. Again, the need to breathe made him pause. “I’ll honor your body with my kisses. I’ll kneel before you and suck your nectar like it is honey on my tongue. I’ll fuck you until you cream and climax like an eruption.”

“You are talking funny.” Her smile lit up her face already radiant from blushing.

“Here’s something plain and simple. I will make returning to that sisterhood of yours pretty damned difficult.”

“You’re arrogant,” she whispered.

“Genuine,” he corrected.

She licked her lips. “I want to make it difficult for you to forget me.” She slid down before him. “So, I will suck you until
you
climax.” She took her time untying his boots, pulling down his pants, basically driving him crazy out of his mind.

Damned she had a power grip. Her hands pinned his hips. Fingers dug into his ass. No chance of retreating. Her mouth slid over his shaft. But there was no fucking way that he’d want to retreat.

He roared, tortured. Every part of him felt like he’d stepped on a field of firecrackers and touched an electric socket all at the same time. Her tongue snaked along his cock like a second skin.

Oh! Teeth clenched. Coherent speech was out of the question. Screaming or roaring, definite options. His fingers curled into fists, struggling to hold on. The climb to the peak grew steeper with a drop off into delirium at any moment.

She milked him. Curses continued to fly out of his mouth. Maybe, fly out of his mind. Still she didn’t stop. Thank goodness.

Her mouth and tongue were in a devilish partnership, working hard to fine-tune his instrument. And now he was ready to play. As much as he didn’t want to draw away from her eager mouth, he wanted to be deep inside her, buried between her legs.

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